Diocese of Venice Crest


The Diocese of Venice in Florida

The Mustard Seed

 September 15, 2017

Office of the Bishop
All of you are in my prayers during this time of recovery in Southwest Florida.

The storm has passed and now we find comfort in knowing that we are people of hope, and that our faith will guide us in restoring our everyday way of life.

This may appear to some to be a time of darkness. But, as Catholics we are called to reflect the light of Christ. Let us be compassionate to our neighbor, our brothers and sisters in need who may be suffering at this time. Let us be united in prayer and with the Lord. Let us be beacons of hope to those around us. Let us magnify the light that is Christ.

May God bless you all.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Frank J.Dewane
Bishop of the Diocese of Venice of
Venice in Florida

Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts - Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. has opened 11 Disaster Response Centers to assist with relief and recovery efforts from the devastation of Hurricane Irma in Southwest Florida.  All centers are in need of water, non-perishable food, home cleaning supplies, and volunteers.  Anyone interested in providing support or items should contact the center nearest you. The locations of the Disaster Response Centers are listed below.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in DeSoto County
1210 East Oak Street, Arcadia, FL 34266
Office Phone: 863-494-1068
Contact Persons:  Sister Ann DeNicolo and Andy Herigodt

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. In Bonita Springs
St. Leo the Great Parish
28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Office Phone: 239-390-2928    
Contact Person: Chuck Anderson

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Clewiston
St. Margaret Parish
208 North Deane Duff Avenue, Clewiston, FL 33440-3135  
Office Phone:  863-983-8585
Contact Person:  Rev. Jiobani Batista

Jesus the Worker Parish
881 Nuna Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33905
Office Phone: 239-693-5333 (alt) 239-693-0640
Contact Person: Rev. Patrick T. O'Connor

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Fort Myers
4235 Michigan Ave. Link, Fort Myers, FL  33916
Office Phone: 239-337-4193
Contact Person: Charles Anderson

Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities
211 S. 9th Street, Immokalee, FL  34142
Office Phone: 239- 657-6242
Contact: Peggy Rodriguez

St. Joseph the Worker Parish
24065 U.S. Hwy 27, Moore Haven, FL 33471
Office Phone: 863-946-0696
Contact Person: Rev. Marcial Garcia

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Collier County
2210 Santa Barbara Blvd., Naples, FL 34116
Office Phone: 239-455-2655
Contact Person: Mary Shaughnessy

St. Michael Parish
408 Heard Bridge Road, Wauchula, FL 33873
Office Phone: 863-773-4089
Contact Person:  Sister Gema Ruiz

Holy Family Youth Center
900 US Highway 27, N., Sebring, FL  33870
Office Phone: 863-385-0049
Contact Person:  Rev. Jose Gonzalez

Campo San Jose
170 Sun n' Lake Blvd., Lake Placid, FL  33852
Office Phone: 863-385-0049
Contact Person:  Rev. Jose Gonzalez

Pope Francis Prayer Intention for September - That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.

Pope Francis Prayer Intention for October - That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.

Charismatic Renewal Golden Jubilee Celebration - As a result of Hurricane Irma, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference has been rescheduled for Sunday, November 5 at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center in Punta Gorda. The Conference will begin at 12:00 p.m. and conclude at 8:00 p.m. A notification has been sent to all existing registrants advising of the date change and registration remains open. The Conference theme is, "A New Pentecost for a New Evangelization," and will feature exciting speakers in both English and Spanish. There will also be a combined English/Spanish session for youth, ages 13-17. All are encouraged to attend this Spirit-filled conference, to experience inspirational speakers, praise and worship, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for youth (13-17) and includes dinner. Pre-registration is required online at www.dioceseofvenice.org. For more information about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the Golden Jubilee Celebration please visit www.dvccr.org.

Red Masses - Bishop Frank J. Dewane will be celebrating a series of Red Masses in October to pray that the Holy Spirit will extend grace and guidance upon those who work in the civil legal system. All Catholic members of the legal profession both in parishes and the community are invited and encouraged to attend. The Masses are: 12:00 p.m., Monday, October 23, at St. Catherine Parish, 820 Hickory St., Sebring; 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 24, at the Ave Maria School of Law, 1025 Commons Circle, Naples; 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 25, at St. Martha Parish, 200 N. Orange St., Sarasota. Please contact the hosting Parish for additional information.

Diocese of Venice Youth Rally - The 2017 Diocese of Venice Youth Rally will be held on Saturday, November 4 at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center in Punta Gorda. This event is for 7th to 12th graders. Presenters for this special youth event will be Paul Kim, Sarah Swafford, and the Ike Ndolo Band. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. Registration is only through local Parish youth groups, religious education programs or Catholic schools. No registration at the door. For more information, please contact George Smith at gsmith@dioceseofvenice.org.

Veterans Day Mass - This year marks the eighth consecutive year that the Diocese of Venice is holding a Memorial Mass on Veterans Day in honor of the men and women who have served our country and continue to serve and protect us today. The Mass is being held Saturday, November 11 at 2:45 p.m., at the Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72/Clark Road, approximately five miles east of I-75, The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane along with the Priests and Deacons of the Diocese. All are invited to attend and active military personnel are encouraged to wear their uniform. Although the event is held in the amphitheater, you are encouraged to wear sunscreen and bring a hat. There is ample seating and parking at the cemetery. For further information, please contact Gail Ardy at ardy@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-484-9543

National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty - The faithful are invited to join Bishop Frank J. Dewane in signing a national pledge to end the use of the death penalty. The Catholic Mobilizing Network's National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty was announced in Washington, D.C. As Chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Dewane was one of the first signatories who committed to advocate, educate and pray for the end to the use of the death penalty. For more information on the national pledge, please visit: https://catholicsmobilizing.org/action/pledge.

Kidnapped Priest Has Been Released - Thank you for your prayers! Father Tom Uzhunnialil has been released. Father was kidnapped in Yemen March 4, 2016 when four gunman attacked a Missionaries of Charity-run retirement home in Aden, Yemen, killing 16 people, including four Missionary Sisters of Charity. He will spend a few days in Rome in a community of his Salesian order before returning to India.

2018 Synod of Bishops Preparatory Survey - The Holy Father has called for a Synod of Bishops to be held in October of 2018. The theme of the Synod is "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment." In anticipation of this historic gathering, the Synod Office has developed an anonymous online survey for people in the focus age group of 16-29. The survey is an exciting opportunity for young people to cooperate directly with the Synod process and are encouraged to participate. To access the survey in both English and Spanish, please click on the following link:

Save the Dates & Mark Your Calendars - The following important events will include exciting speakers, opportunities for sharing of the Faith, the Mass and much more. The Diocesan Women's Conference will be held on February 3, 2018 and the Diocesan Men's Conference will be held February 24, 2018. Both Conferences take place at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers with specific details and registration information available in the coming months.

"Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane" - Join Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice, for his monthly radio program on Relevant Radio. "Witnessing Faith with Bishop Dewane" can be heard Friday, September 29 at 10:30 a.m. on 1660 AM in Naples and 1410 AM and 106.7 FM in Fort Myers. Listen anywhere online at RelevantRadio.com. The program will continue to air on the last Friday of each month. (CLICK HERE for a flier.)

Prayer for Safety during Hurricane Season - As seen from the recent devastation inflicted by Hurricane Irma in the Diocese of Venice and throughout Florida, and Hurricane Harvey in Texas, it is evident that 2017 is a very active hurricane season.  The Season continues through November 30 and all parishes are encouraged to pray for protection from these disasters that threaten Southwest Florida.  (CLICK HERE for a copy of the prayer in English) (CLICK HERE for a copy of the prayer in Spanish.)

Respect Life
National Respect Life Sunday and Diocesan Collection - Intercessions for October 1 are available in the Resource Guide at www.usccb.org/respectlife and also in the Respect Life Program packet that was mailed to priests and deacons.  For a Respect Life Month graphic that can be used in your bulletin or on the cover during October,CLICK HERE.  For a letter from Bishop Dewane to include in your bulletin, CLICK HERE.

40 Days for Life - The Diocese is once again sponsoring an ecumenical 40 Days for Life campaign this fall in Sarasota from September 27 to November 5. We also will support the campaign in Fort Myers. 40 Days for Life has become a highly effective movement that has grown tremendously since the first simultaneous national campaign 10 years ago, now involving over half a million people in 44 countries. Over 13,000 babies have been saved from abortion, sparing thousands of mothers and fathers from a lifetime of regret, and 86 abortion centers have closed. Your help is needed to make this campaign effective.

Parish commitments to cover several days are requested during the campaign at the closest location (Sarasota or Fort Myers). A relatively new approach to involving more people is to encourage leaders of various parish organizations to host an hour or more during the days that the parish commits to provide prayer volunteers in front of the abortion center. This model is recommended as your parish participates in the fall campaign, challenging people beyond the Respect Life team to become involved and to give witness for life. For a sample letter to facilitate the process CLICK HERE. Additional materials are available from your Parish 40 Days for Life Coordinator or Jeanne Berdeaux, Diocesan Respect Life Director (Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068). Thank you for supporting this important public witness.

Safe Environment Training - As part of the Safe Environment Program, the Diocese of Venice requires that all employees and those volunteers who work with children and/or vulnerable adults be fingerprinted and trained in Safe Environment. For further information, visit the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofvenice.org/safeenvironment. Report all abuses against minors to the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873. To report abuse by Diocesan personnel or volunteers, please also call the Diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Barbara DiCocco at 941-416-6114. (CLICK HERE for a schedule of upcoming training schedules in English and CLICK HERE for a schedule of upcoming training sessions in Spanish.)

Respect Life
National Respect Life Sunday and Diocesan Collection - Celebrate Respect Life Sunday with Catholics across the United States on Sunday, October 1. Educational information about this year's theme, "Be Not Afraid," is available at www.usccb.org/respectlife.  Please give as generously as you can to the annual Diocesan Respect Life Sunday collection.

End of Life Decisions:  A Catholic Perspective - From 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 28, at St. Charles Borromeo Parish Center, Deacon Al Mauriello, MD and F. Michael Gloth, MD of Naples will share their expertise on important issues that everyone needs to face, whether for themselves or a loved one.  Bring your questions!  For registration, please contact Berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-374-1068. Click HERE for a full-page or HERE for ¼ page ad.

40 Days for Life - The fall campaign runs from September 27 to November 5 outside of Planned Parenthood in Sarasota and Fort Myers. Join in praying and witnessing for life by signing up on your parish's commitment days or register directly online at www.40daysforlife.com (choose location).

Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary Procession - On Saturday, October 7, the Diocese of Venice is sponsoring a Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary Procession in front of the regional Planned Parenthood headquarters, 736 Central Ave., Sarasota. Everyone is asked to meet at St. Martha Parish, 200 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, at 10:30 a.m., prior to going to the Planned Parenthood headquarters. Bring your rosary beads and love for the Blessed Mother to this special event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Her appearance to the children of Fatima, Portugal. Together we will honor Our Lady by praying for the unborn and putting an end to abortion. A statue of Our Lady of Fatima will lead the procession. For more information please contact Paul Muri at paulmuri2@gmail.com.

Statewide Respect Life Conference - Come hear dynamic speakers such as former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino and Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., speak up "for the least of them" on October 20 & 21 at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston (Miami area).  For more information visit www.respectlifemiami.org or email: stateconference2017@respectlifemiami.org or call (954)-981-2922.
Project Rachel Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing - "The Project Rachel retreat brought me freedom and joy. You will find God's love, mercy, and healing." (Testimony of retreatant) For information about the November 11 retreat, call Fonda at 239-719-7210 or project.rachel@dioceseofvenice.org. See video testimonials at www.dioceseofvenice.org/offices/respect-life/post-abortion-help. (CLICK HERE for ¼-page ad.)

Scripture Conference - Speaker Matthew Leonard, from Scott Hahn's St. Paul Biblical Center, and his team are coming to speak on their widely-used Scripture Study series from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, October 7, at Our Lady of Light Parish, 19680 Cypress View Drive, Fort Myers. Cost is $15, and scholarships are available for those in financial need. Online registration required at http://dioceseofvenice.org/offices/evangelization/bible-study-training-day/. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Evangelization at 941-484-9543 or email evangelization@dioceseofvenice.org.

Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation
Master's Degree Being Offered - The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation is pleased to partner with Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, to offer the Master's in Catechesis and Evangelization (MACE) degree program. The MACE program is designed to increase learning and understanding of the Faith and to provide advanced catechesis. Applications for fall courses are currently being accepted. For details regarding the program, please call the Registrar, Kathryn Deninno at 941-766-7334.

Hispanic Ministry
Clausura del Proceso Diocesano del V Encuentro - Los laicos hispanos de la Diócesis de Venice están invitados a participar de este evento bajo la guía de nuestro Obispo Frank J. Dewane y del Doctor Hosffman Ospino.  En esta reunión les presentaremos los resultados del Proceso Diocesano del V Encuentro y los próximos proyectos de la Pastoral Hispana en nuestra Diócesis. La conferencia se realizará el a las 6.30 PM, miercoles, 20 de septiembre en la parroquia Jesus the Worker, 881 Nuna Avenue, Fort Myers. Para más información: pastoralhispana@dioceseofvenice.org. Descargue el Poster
Conclusion of the V Encuentro Diocesan Process - The Hispanic laity of the Diocese of Venice is invited to participate in this event under the guidance of our Bishop Frank Dewane and Dr. Hosffman Ospino. In this meeting we will present the results of the Diocesan Process of the V Encuentro and the upcoming projects of the Hispanic Ministries in our Diocese.  The conference will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 20 at Jesus the Worker Parish, 881 Nuna Avenue, Fort Myers. For more information pastoralhispana@dioceseofvenice.org. CLICK HERE to download the poster.
Bulletin Insert - If your parish has an Hispanic Apostolate, please insert this announcement in your bulletin. (CLICK HERE for the bulletin insert).

Youth and Young Adults                                                                               
World Youth Day Pilgrimage: Panama 2019 - The Diocese of Venice has opened registration for the 2019 international pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Panama with Pope Francis! This trip will take place from January 19 to January 28, 2019. For questions and to reserve your group please contact George Smith at gsmith@dioceseofvenice.org. 

Annual 10 Commandment Hike/American Heritage Girls Campout - The Diocese of Venice Scouting Office is hosting the annual 10 Commandment Hike at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center, 3989 S. Moon Drive, Venice, on Saturday, September 30.  All grade school age Scouts are encouraged to attend this wonderful day of faith and fun. The 10 Commandment Hike provides an outdoor experience for scouts to learn about each individual Commandment in light of Catholic teaching. Following the hike there will be lunch, after which Scouts will be able to stay to work on requirements for Religious Awards. In addition, the American Heritage Girls will be holding their first "Diocesan Catholic Campout" the same weekend at OLPH.  For more information on the Hike or Campout, please contact Bob Paquette at robertpaquette@snet.net.

Calling All Young Adults - The Diocese of Venice offers many opportunities for young adults to build community. Through programs like Theology on Tap, intramural sports teams, and Parish-organized social events, there is something available for everyone throughout the Diocese. Young Adults (18-39) are encouraged to participate in these opportunities to enrich their faith and make friends! If you have any Young Adult activities planned or would like to learn about them in your area please contact George Smith at gsmith@dioceseofvenice.org.

Naples Area - Theology on Tap - The site of the gatherings rotates among different parishes from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays: First Tuesdays at St. John the Evangelist Parish, 625 111th Avenue North; Second Tuesdays at St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road; Third Tuesdays at St. Peter the Apostle Parish, 5130 Rattlesnake Hammock Road; Fourth Tuesdays at St. William Parish, 601 Seagate Drive.

Sarasota Area - St. Patrick Parish has a weekly Young Adult Kickball team. Contact Tom Lelyo for further information at youth@churchofstpatrick.org.

Lehigh Acres Area - St. Raphael Parish, 2514 Lee Blvd., LOFT young adult group meets a 6 p.m., on the third Mondays of each month. Call 239-369-1831.

Fort Myers Area - St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers will host "Rooted", a Young Adult Program offering an opportunity to build Community.  The group meets at 7:15 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. This program is for ages 18-39, married, single, women, men, parishioners and non-parishioners. Sessions vary from praise and worship, events and adventure, bonfires, and social justice events. For more information like Rooted on Facebook at "Rooted at St. John XXIII," or contact Kelly Evers at 239-561-3022.

Life Chain Prayer Walk - All are encouraged to participate in the nationwide Life Chain Prayer Walk, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 1, in Naples along U.S 41 south of Vanderbilt Beach Road, southward to 5th Avenue South. The mission of Life Chain is to focus on the at risk pre-born children in each local area, joining hearts in prayer for an end to the horror of abortion and wounding of women. Bring the whole family, chairs, water and umbrella if you wish. Any participation welcome. For more details, contact Fred or Barb Goduti at 239-261-4810.

Convocation Latina Women for Diocese of Venice - All Latina women are invited to come and learn how to share the joy of being a missionary disciple at a Convocation on Saturday, October, 7, St. Catherine Parish Youth Center, 900 US Hwy 27N, Sebring. Registration is required and the $20 fee includes meals and materials. For more information please call Iris M. Gomez at 863-245-3269 and leave a message.

Convocatoria Mujeres Latinas - Diocesis de Venice - A todas las mjures Latinas de nuestra diocesis, Dios te ha escogido para ser discipula misionera.  ven y aprende como compartir el gozo cristiano.  La convocacion sera el 7 de octubre en Salon de la Juventud en Santa Catalina, Sebring, FL. La direccion es 900 US Hwy 27N.  La cuota es $20. Tres charlas, Misa y comidas, y mucha diversion.  Auspiciado por el Consejo Diocesano de Mujeres de Venice. Te esperamos. Contacto: Iris M. Gomez Tel: 863-245-3269

Oktoberfest Dinner Dance - The Knights of Columbus Council 10757 of St. William Parish, 750 Seagate Drive, Naples, invite all for food, music and dancing, at the annual Oktoberfest Dinner Dance at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, October 7. Tickets are $30. Please RSVP by October 2 to Bob Cloughley: 239-262-5205, bobandloiscloughley@gmail.com.

"Stand True" Italian American Dinner - The Youth of St. Raphael Parish, 2514 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres, are holding a "Stand True" Italian American Dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, October 7. The proceeds benefit the youth group, and meal includes Italian sausage, lentil soup, chicken cacciatore, pasta, bread and dessert. The children's plate includes pasta and meatballs. Cost is $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Parish. For more information, please call 239-369-1831.

Public Square Rosary Crusade Prayer Walk - All are welcome to participate in the America Needs Fatima Public Square Rosary Crusade Prayer Walk at 12:00 p.m., Saturday, October 14, in front of the Fort Myers Planned Parenthood at College Parkway and Winkler Road. The walk coincides with 100th anniversary of Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal. Prayers for intercessions of Blessed Virgin Mary to bless America.

Faith and Ale - Faith and Ale is a Catholic apostolate that offers men an encounter with the Catholic faith and Christ through fellowship and quality Catholic speakers.  The next event is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, October 19 at Resurrection Parish, 8051 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers. For further information, tickets and future dates please visit www.faithandale.com.

Faith & Wine Lee County - The new season of this of this Catholic Faith Community for women kick off 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, October 26 at Resurrection Parish, 8051 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers. The speaker will share her faith journey, "Hope Does Not Disappoint."  Women from all parishes are welcome to join us for a light dinner, a glass of wine and inspiring topics by Catholic speakers. Cost for this event is $10.00. Season Tickets are $40.00 ($5.00 savings off individual tickets).  For more information and to register please visit our website:  www.faithandwineleecounty.com, or mail a check payable to Faith & Wine Lee County to Julie Richards, 6946 Pickadilly Court, Fort Myers FL 33919. Please include attendee name(s), address, telephone number, email and parish.